Honda Jade Hybrid 1.5 (A)

Honda Jade Hybrid 1.5 (A)

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
28 Aug 2015

The name is quite pretty, is it not? It’s called the Jade, and as you might know, the Chinese love the rock. Its lustrous greenish grey surface and smooth, cool finish has inspired many works of art that are painstakingly hand crafted out of the hard rock. It’s no wonder then, that the Jade is one of the best selling cars in China, where its name inspires awe and desire even before customers see the car.

Based off the Stream platform, it’s designed to be 4+2 seater, something unique I think most would find. After all, 2+2s are common, but 4+2? You can now take more kids than the average hatchback would, but not have to buy a full on MPV that’s slightly cumbersome to drive. So let’s find out just what this cool piece of kit is all about.

Exterior

Naturally then, I expected a car that had the same external qualities; well crafted, chiselled details and pleasing to the eye. The Jade doesn’t disappoint: it looks handsome and sporty, sort of like a stretched out version of the Jazz or fit, but with a lower roofline that’s reminiscent of the Type-R 5 door. Not a bad start then. The car is sleek, and the spoiler at the rear just above the decent sized rear screen gives a race-y feel.

Chiselled is a good word to describe the exterior design of the car; the rear lights are sculpted in an inverted and angular ‘c’ shape, while the car’s rear quarter has a broad shoulder line that runs from the rear door to the lights. This creates muscular proportions for the car where it matters: no fat bum like the rest of its competition.

The car’s windows and front grille feature black trim, adding to the overall sporty feel. This is well balanced with chrome highlights in various places like the fog lights and door handles as well as the centre piece upon which the Honda logo is mounted on the grille. This subtle placement of chrome to contrast the black trim may not be obvious at first glance, but they create an impression and general look that is unmistakeably Honda; sporty and elegant at the same time. What a combination.

Interior

The seats are a mixture of leather and a breathable fabric mesh, which is a really cool way (pun intended) to travel around on. The beige coloured seats are a warm welcome from the usual black interiors meant for practicality, but also mean that they will get dirty and it’s going to be a challenge to maintain. Not really something you’d be too worried about if you’re getting a people carrier, because it’s going to be thoroughly used one way or another and function trumps form here.

Faux wood trim is splashed generously all over the doors and front dash, which is visually appealing and almost makes you think you’re driving a car twice the price. Silver highlights continue on the interior, and add a welcome touch of Avant-Gardeness to the interior that balances the elegance quite naturally. An all-digital instrument cluster rounds off the driving visuals, which keeps the theme of high technology even more subtle and only known to the driver, as the rest of the cabin continues to bask in the elegant and modern design. It is after all a hybrid, but then only the driver cares about that. So that’s not a bad design idea.

Drive and Conclusion

The Jade looks like it would give the Type-R a run for its money, but don’t be too ambitious. It’s not slow by any means, with power from the combination of a 1.5l i-VTEC engine and a 160Nm electric motor mated to a 7 speed double clutch gear box that should see you take get off the line faster than the average MPV.

It handles well too; body roll is fairly limited for an MPV, and the car feels quite well balanced and holds its line around twisty bits of road. It’s quite typically Honda, with pretty quick steering that’s decently weighted and easy control due to the predictable handling.

There’s no doubt then that it’s a real Honda, being able to drive well but still maintaining its reliability and practicality. The styling is also something that one would appreciate, as it’s very much a balance of chic, sportiness and elegance all wrapped up into one practical sports-MPV package. Now you see why it’s China’s favourite?

Car review sponsored by: Autolink Holdings

Credits: Story and Photos by Alvan Sio

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